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Lemon cucumbers are spherical to oval-shaped, averaging 5-7 centimeters in length and often have a small protrusion at the blossom end, somewhat like a navel orange. Its yellow to gold skin is thin and tender with some striping and mottling and has tiny bristles that are edible but can easily be removed. This tennis-ball sized fruit changes from lemon-yellow to a golden yellow as it ripens. The inner flesh is pale green to yellow with edible seeds and has a mild, sweet taste with a cool, crisp texture.
Lemon cucumbers are available during summer months.
Lemon cucumbers, botanically classified as Cucumis sativus, get their name from the lemon-yellow color of its skin but does not have a flavor profile similar to an actual lemon. Also known as a Garden Lemon, Apple cucumber, Budamkaya, and Dosakai, Lemon cucumbers have thin skin and are burpless, meaning they lack bitter flavor components and are easily digestible.
Lemon cucumbers contain vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, calcium, fiber and anti-oxidants.
Lemon cucumbers are most often used in raw preparations but may also be pickled. They can be used sliced in fresh green salads, tofu salads, zucchini and pea salads, or sliced and served fresh with basil pesto. Lemon cucumbers can also be juiced and used in cocktails, agua frescas, and smoothies. Pair with tomatoes, summer squash, carrots, fresh herbs and cheeses, citrus, olives, and vinegar. Lemon cucumbers will keep up to three days when stored in the refrigerator.
Lemon cucumbers have a strong modern market presence in India where it is commonly added to soup, Daal, used in making Dosa-Aavakaaya, and chutney. It is popular in India for its cooling properties to assist in fighting against the sweltering summer heat and is also enjoyed raw as a summer snack.
Lemon cucumbers are believed to have originated in India or the Middle-East in the 16th century as referenced by ancient Middle Eastern texts. It was then introduced to the United States in the early 1900s. Today, Lemon cucumbers can be found at farmers markets and specialty grocers in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Recipes that include Lemon Cucumbers. One is easiest, three is harder.